Old Testament Lesson 21 Study Notes: 1 Samuel 2-3; 8

One can reasonably argue that the book of Judges shows us the decline of Israel to a situation in which they have to have a king to lead them, and that the treatment of women that we see in Judges is a sign of that decline. One can also argue that Ruth is a response to that theme in Judges. How does the story of Hannah fit into that theme?

Chapter 2

Verses 1-10: These verses are a song, perhaps not one that Hannah composed, but one she knew already and applied to herself, much as we might choose to sing a hymn that reflects our circumstances. Note the parts of this song: thanksgiving (1-2), a warning to the arrogant (3), the reversal of fortune (the high are brought down, the low are exalted—4-8), and an expression of confidence (9-10). (The song is, roughly, chiastic.) What is the overall theme of the poem? How does this song fit Hannah’s situation? How might it also be important to us? Are there parts that seem not to be relevant to Hannah’s situation? If so, what do you make of that?

Verse 1:

Most commentators suggest that the metaphor, “mine horn is exalted in the Lord,” is that of a proud animal carrying its head high? (Compare Psalm 92:10 and 89:18.) Does that make sense to you? Do you have an alternative interpretation?

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